6.29.2010

Crochet bath poofs and knitted dish cloths

Early in my time off, after my fall, in a drug induced state. I realized I couldn’t knit anything, well that involved a pattern. So I started with dishcloths, I soon had a grocery bag full of them and many happy co-workers and friends,

installing-bathtub 

In the process I came upon many fun dishcloth patterns, from the blogger Dish and Washcloth Mania, you have to check out all of her links to other great bloggers with dishcloth mania, she has complied quite a fabulous list of patterns, as well as many great ideas of her own. Can we ever have too many? No, I think not. Soft cotton that just gets softer every time it is washed, nice!

There is also a long list of free crochet bath related items at Crochet Patterns Central

 

After sending my DH out I don’t know how many times to get more cotton yarn, in whatever color caught his eye. I was ready to move on. I found several patterns for crochet bath poofs!.

There seems to be two different way to construct these the hyperbolic crochet bath poof, and the double crochet in the loops bath poof. I have made them both, and don’t have a preference. I will say I love the softness of these, they suds up good and I wash them  and throw them in the dryer, and they just get softer. The only drawback is if you make them from cotton they take some time to dry, I live in a humid area in the country and don’t have good ventilation in my bathroom. I usually hang them outside in the sun to dry. The one in the second photo is made with red heart yarn. It dries fast, and is scratchier, I think of it as loofa like, for some exfoliation. But even the red heart one is better than the store bought poof.

The best tutorial I found for the Hyperbolic crochet bath poof is from Yelley on Crafster.org, she doesn't blog anymore but her blog does have

043 037

Beginning above and,  Done!

some patterns on it worth taking a look at TwoCentHooker.

003

Here is a good pattern for the double crochet bath poof from  Crochet Spot, this is the pattern I used for the two poofs, I used a ball of sugar and cream for each of them. 2 oz for each.

050

Here is a variation for a super sized bath poof.(above) from Cat’s Cradle Creations, made with camo red heart yarn, faster to dry

Now spoil someone and go make a bath poof!

6.27.2010

Yeehaw, Cotton Cowboy Hat

When I bought the crochet book, The Happy Hooker, this was one of the projects I always wanted to crochet. I always want to see at least two projects in a book before I want to buy it. Checking on Ravelry at some of the versions that had been completed made my decision easy. So armed with cotton yarn and advice from several Ravelers I started the project.

This was a a little hard to finish, I almost frogged it and used the cotton for dish cloths several times. But that could be due to the fact that I am primarily a knitter and not accustomed to reading crochet patterns. The cotton yarn was hard on my hands, and I can’t crochet very much due to RSI. I had to make myself finish this hat. It was most unpleasant crocheting with two strands of the cotton yarn I picked out. I would consider making the hat with another type of yarn.

Yarn: Peach n Cream 4, 2 oz balls, held double through out.

Hook: size G

Pattern: From the book Stitch N Bitch crochet: The Happy Hooker, Yeehaw Lady

Changes that I made:

Hat seems to be for a super large head, so I used a smaller crochet hook (G instead of K), hat turned out to be tall enough for a top hat, I shorted it to a reasonable height, the “cluster” stitch was not clear to me at all, I almost changed it to something (anything) else, but thanks to mikeyssmail on You Tube I mastered it, well it doesn't look exactly like the photo in the book, but close enough for me. I think this crochet cluster stitch tutorial by tjw1963 is probably the one I needed to make, but the cotton yarn stitches were so tight, I couldn't’ get it to work.

003002

OK, so I finally sat down and said, I’m finishing this today! And like many things, in about an hour I was to the last row in the brim, (where the floral wire is inserted), it calls for a piece doubled, (the lower the number the thicker the wire), and to crochet over it. After doing this I realized I needed a firmer brim, the cotton yarn is very dense. I refered to Ravelry and one knitter said she used bailing wire for the same reason. I ended up taking my floral wire, which was 22 gauge (the thickest I could find in a long strand), and using 4 pieces of it held together. This seemed about right. Although it could have used thicker wire, if you have access to bailing wire, I would give it a try. Evidently bailing wire is the wire version of duct tape.

 002 004

I got the hat done, but decided that I didn’t like my “holes” in it, I rummaged around and found some wooden beads, I ended up stringing them and placing them in the holes, by tacking them on each side.

006 

Now this looks more like a cowboy hat should!

027

YeeHaw I’m ready to get my spurs on and  wrangle up some socks!

6.24.2010

Scrappy Felted Big Bag

In a continuing effort to tackle the stash bins. I gathered all of my yarn up that is left over from other projects. I am surprised to find that I am able to separate the colors into, yellows (quite a lot of yellow and gold), greens and blues, black and grey and reds. I have an idea to make a scrappy sweater, after searching for patterns and looking at my yarn I decide against that and decide to search for bag patterns. I had the Big Bag pattern by Maia Discoe, in my Ravelry queue. I think this would be a great stash busting bag if I can get the colors to work. Her bag has such a nice stripe pattern of various widths.

003

After playing around awhile I decide that the blues and greens and yellows are my best color combination. The pattern is knitted with two strands of yarn, and I decide to carry one yellow strand along the entire bag. Hoping this will tie the colors together. While keeping the pattern stripes with the blues and greens.

Amount of scrap yarn: I had approx 38 oz of yarn, mostly worsted weight to work with, and I had some left over of every color, (1 oz or less of all  of the yarns, except the blue, and I had 3 oz of the yellow left. (some of the yellow looks beige in the photo)

007

It is turning out OK, at first I’m afraid that it will be fugly and almost frog it. But I hope that the felting will “blend” the colors, or worst case scenario I can over dye the whole thing.

Yay, I like how it turns out!

013

Knitted on size US 10.5 needles. This was quick to knit. Size is 18 inches high x 17.5 wide, after felting it shrinks to 16 x 14, a nice size, it is soft and reminds me of a carpet bag. I actually quite like the colors now that it is all done. I’m entertaining the idea of another bag. I’m using it for a knitting bag. It is a good size, I can fit my pouch with my knitting accessories in it, pattern and yarn, and I still have left over space. The handle is proving to be quite sturdy.

015

NOTES ON FELTING:

I now have a front loader now, and wondered if I could felt in it, or was I going to have to find a top loader somewhere? After reading about felting some, I decided my choices were,

1- go to the Laundromat

2 - Felt it by hand, after reading about this online, I decided against this method, if you are interested in felting by hand there is an excellent article about it using a plumbers plunger on Knitty, (Felting the Old Way) or

3- go ahead and put it in the front loader, I read about this online and the general agreement is that you will need to run it through several cycles. Now when I felt with my old *sigh* top loader it only took about 15-20 min. A total cycle time in my front loader is about 40 min. I was afraid I was going to end up with a change purse! But I decided to live dangerously and go for it. A front loader doesn’t agitate, it tumbles.

I actually had to put this bag through two cycles and then throw it in the dryer to get it to felt as much as it did. It felted in proportion, and I was quite pleased with it. Below are my tips and links to articles that I used as info. Thanks to all of you that gave me advice! I got my best info from message boards on several sites, (links included at the bottom). I had great luck with this method, but if you have felted before you know it is a fickle process. It is best to swatch, measure and felt .

Front Loader felting:

1. Front loaders use very little water. Place your item to felt in a bucket with some very hot water, and let it thoroughly soak (about 20 min).

2. Place your item to be felted in a pillow slip and tie it shut, it is advisable to add several pairs of jeans in with it, I actually just did a regular load of laundry.

3. Add a little extra water into your front loader, your front loader uses very little water, I just poured what it was soaking in into the washer.

4. Add soap as you normally would, set it on hot wash, and cold rinse.

5.  Don't use a lingerie bag, the fibers can felt into the mesh of the bag.

6. Some people take it out after draining but before the spin, it may put creases into your item. I can pick this option on my machine.

7. I ran it through two complete cycles and then threw it into the dryer to felt it further. I didn’t experience creases, I think it may be due to the fact that I ran it with an entire load of laundry.

8. If you feel you must check it, consider running just a rinse and drain several times. (my washer has that option, I don’t know if they all do)

From Woolcrafting, How to felt in a front loader

Knitter’s Review boards had a wealth of front loader felting info!

Sarah E. White on About.com article on felting

Here is a discussion on Knitting Daily about felting in your front loader

Another discussion in CrochetMe about front loader felting

Happy felting!!336567106_m

6.21.2010

Baktus scarf revisited

While going through my stash in my stash busting mode, I came across my first hand dyed, hand spun. Three bulky bright orange skeins of merino yarn (12 oz). It is still in there despite my many attempts to incorporate this yarn into, well, anything.

I was reading Claudia’s blog; The Knitting Blog by Mr. Puffy the Dog,  and she had an idea to make a shawl for visitors in her home. Our house is always on the chilly side, and I thought that was a excellent idea. Adding a bright wrap for visitors would be a welcome item indeed!

005 005

Before dye                                       After dye post, see post here

I finally decided that a big pop of color in the Baktus scarf would be pretty, whether under a coat, or over a summer top to keep the chill off, a super bright touch of orange would be perfect.

006

I choose the Lacy Baktus version from  Strikkelise on Flickr.

This was a quick and fun project. I forgot how wonderful it is to knit with hand spun yarn. Since the yarn is bulky, I think the size turned out to be just right. Not too bulky to wrap, yet very warm. I would knit this again in another yarn.

Yarn: Handspun, Koolaid dyed (see post here) 12 0z bulky

Needles: size 11 US

011

Now I’m off to find more patterns to knit up my hand spun with…

From The Big Crafty, 55 Free Shawl Patterns to knit and crochet

This Ravelry link show pattterns that require 100-300 meters of yarn (109-328 yds)

Cosmicpluto has this simple yet effective shawl pattern

Knitted Lace Ribbon Scarf from Veronik Avery, published in Knitty spring 08

Crow Prints Shawl from Silverrose Knitting, OK this is for twice as much yarn, but I love it

May your knitting needles fly as fast as Dragonflies…s_b6b63f799d1a57cdec76425862db72b4

6.18.2010

Lace Bag

I wanted to knit something somewhat mindless but with some pattern. After working on two sweaters that were almost all stocking net stitch, I was in need of some stimulation of the grey matter. (yes I’ve been watching some Hercule Poirot episodes) by Agatha Christie, famous for her crime sleuthing knitting Miss Marple. Mindless knitting is nice but in moderation.

DavidSuchetleikurHerculePoirot3

Pattern is the Button and Lace bag by Amanda Jones from Simply Knitting May 2009. I wanted to use something from my stash, (due to the fact I’m in a stash busting mode) I found some lovely Araucania Nature Wool Color 43. (Kettle Dyed)

Yarn: The pattern calls for 3 x 50 gm/101m balls Stylecraft Kon-Tiki Dk, I am making the bag slightly larger, and 100 gm is going to be plenty to complete it.

Needles: size 9 circular

Alteration: NONE

I had some bamboo handles in my stash that I have been waiting to add to something. This would be the project!010

This is a fast and fun knit, a four row repeat that is easy to follow. It knitted up quickly, and was not boring.

009 (2)

I got this far in two days. Sewing the handles on and finishing the bottom up was quick. I opted to sew the bottom up. I was going to Kitchener it (Kitchener tutorial from Stitch Diva), but decided against it. If I knitted this again, I would Kitchener it.

020

Blocking in the sun. the most difficult part proves to be the decision of what color fabric to line this bag with to show the lace off. The main contenders are black, yellow, and green? I decided on black, who can go wrong with black?

023 Measure and sew.

027 Ready to use..I’m planning on making it a knitting bag! Big surprise!s_b6b63f799d1a57cdec76425862db72b4

 

This was a fun and interesting knit, the pattern kept me from getting bored.

May your knitting needles fly as fast as Dragonflies….

6.15.2010

Knitting Nirvana

WomanDrivingKnittingB

 

Are you goal oriented  or a seat of your pants style knitter?

Occasionally I knit with a deadline, usually a specific event. But as a rule I knit on a whim, it is the one thing in my life that I use as total enjoyment. So I have never given myself goals.

I have recently been rethinking this. I was inspired to finish as many UFO’s as possible and destash. Refusing to purchase anymore yarn or fiber….until….I can’t stand it anymore.

As a result, I have gotten an amazing amount of knitting done, and have lost my need to find the “perfect” yarn or pattern for a match, after all it is just yarn, (I know *gasp!*)

ScreenHunter_03 Feb. 08 18.26

So I’m rethinking this strategy. After an injury, that I am still recovering from, I was amazed at how much knitting I could accomplish, (of course what else was I doing?). This began a UFO attack, that turned into a big stash bust. Soon I had set a goal to knit a top down cardigan in two weeks, I took me slightly less than three, but this was the ah ha moment for me.

I always thought I didn’t want any deadlines, I needed relaxation, but found that in setting some goals, I actually started growing as a knitter and thinking less about all of the other stuff. Now I don’t know if this new philosophy will last when I return to work, and real life,  but I’m going to give it a try. I’ll remind myself to return to read this post , when I’m crazy stressed out. That is the nice thing about knitting, it’s always waiting for you when you need it.

Stash Busting Ideas..

All of the One Skein books are great.

Knitting for children, and babies  doesn’t take much yarn, also knitting toys (toy patterns)

Mittens, and wrist warmers. (mitten patterns) Hats (hat patterns) are good, and you can donate these to a shelter

From Kristin Roach a pattern for some stashing busting socks!

And don’t forget you can donate some of your stash, see the Knitting Behind Bars article, (Interweave Knits lists of charities that accept yarn )

Now Bust some Stash….

May your knitting needles fly as fast as Dragonflies

s_b6b63f799d1a57cdec76425862db72b4

6.12.2010

You may be a knitter if….

 knitter

1. You may be a knitter if, during a really bad movie you start looking at all the sweaters and knitwear and critiquing them in your head.

2. You may be a knitter if, you are constantly deciding if it will viewed as “rude” if you knit _______. (at a reception, meeting, church……)

3. You may be a knitter if, you can walk up to a total stranger, because you know they are wearing something hand knitted. Twenty minutes later you part, with info on the yarn, pattern, problems encountered during the knitting of it, and email address.

4. You may be a knitter if, you wake up in the middle of the night dreaming about knitting.

5. You may be a knitter if, you use the same adjectives to describe yarn as you would your favorite dessert.

Have some of your own! Share them here….

Now go do some knitting

Technorati Tags: ,

6.10.2010

Natasha Shrug

I started this shrug, quick knit but then never got around to quite finishing it. (photos are taken before I had everything woven in and shrug blocked)

006

This was the beginning of my orange phase. You know how you keep buying the same colors, again and again? Well I decided to buy the one I would lease likely pick out. This was the beginning of a love affair with orange, suddenly everything I picked out was orange. I had orange fiber, I was dyeing orange yarn, buying orange clothes…

Pattern: Lace Stitch Shrug, Designed by Melissa Matthhay, size M/L made, size was good.

Yarn: Nashua Natural Fiber Sassafras, 50% cotton, 50% acrylic (ribbon yarn), 7 balls (I bought 8 balls and did use a fraction of the 8th)

Needle: size 10.5 US circular, or one straight for body and a circular for ribbing.

Gauge: 13 sts to 4 inches.

Alterations: The only thing I did differently was add about 3 inches to the ribbing around the shrug, so it would fold back around the neckline.

007

It was a fast knit, the pattern kept it interesting, so I didn’t get bored yet not too complicated. I would recommend this to anyone. It is easy and pretty to throw on and add a little color to your outfit. Or use if you need to keep the chill off.

I would make this again in a wool yarn for cool weather.

May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies….

s_b6b63f799d1a57cdec76425862db72b4

6.07.2010

Paper bag recycled into knitting bag

026 

My DH bought me a Starbucks coffee cup, and the bag was so cute, and I was feeling creative.

I decided it was the perfect size to carry some knitting projects to work and back. So I found this tutorial on how to harden paper bags, (with dilute glue), by Lauren Volk.

So with a little addition of some stitching, (I stitched over the base of the handles to make them stronger) and I glued a few photos on (careful to remember less is more, don’t succumb to the Bedazzler syndrome, no one with a Bedazzler can put just one stud or rhinestone on an item)).

I wrapped some ribbon yarn around the handles and secured it, and painted the whole thing inside and out several times with the glue mix. I did cut a cardboard base to glue into the bag. Careful to set the bag up and shape it as it dries, and there is a fine line between just enough glue layers and too many. (too many make your paper bag brittle)

Happy with the result I decided to find some fun fabric and line it.

I just traced each side onto my fabric, and added 1/2 inch for seam allowance, add this at the top also. If you want a pocket, cut out a square the size you want, hem the edges and place on one side, towards the bottom, too far towards the top will make the bag top heavy with any item in your pocket. Sew around the pocket, leaving the top open.

Now sew all all your pieces together, for a smooth edge at the top, roll the fabric over and seam, insert into your bag. It should fit nicely.

014 017

Turn the corners and make a stitch half the length of the sides of the bag. This will allow for a better fit in the bottom.

018

You can secure the fabric to the top of your bag by sewing (with machine), hand stitching (use some embroidery stitches), or the easy way, glue.

A hot glue gun is handy and fast.

020

recycle-logo

Now fill your bag up with some yarn and needles and feel good!

Or if your interested in making another type of recycled bag here are a few:

Fusing Plastic Bag Tutorial from Amanda L. at Etsy

Make Cheap and Easy Fabric Produce Bags from Wisdom of the Moon blog

Bird Seed Grocery Bag Tutorial from Curbly.com

Scrappy reusable produce bag Tutorial from A Day in the Life of the Hooks

 

6.05.2010

Need a summer bag! Knit it..

spring_flowers
I’m in the mood for swmmer and color! Flowers, sun and hot days. Along with tanks, sun hats and skirts, we will need a bright pretty bag, or tote.

How about knitting one of these?

From I Live on A Farm, a nice study market bag

This bag is from Annie Modesitt and was published in Knitty summer 03, I like the raffia, it has such a nice texture.

From the Island of Misfit Patterns, Baby’s Got a Brand new Big Bag (pdf), I think we could even carry our knitting in this! Looks like a good stashbusting project!

Hello Yarn has a great Skull and Crossbones tote, I'm casting this on today!

And I fell in love with this little Morning Glory purse by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence
May your needles fly as fast as Dragonflies…dragon